If you don't want to get a drone driver's license, it's better to look around for a mini drone. You will be amazed at what even the small and light drones under 250 g with a camera can do! We present you six recommended models.
Drones under 250 grams are often referred to as "mini drones". They fall into the safest drone class and have to meet the fewest requirements – even when traveling to other countries. Another advantage: You do not need an EU drone driver's license to fly a mini drone. The only requirements for flying are registration of the pilot, identification of the drone with a sticker and drone insurance.
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DJI Mini 3 Pro: The manufacturer's small top model
The DJI Mini 3 Pro is currently the best equipped mini drone. Image: © DJI 2022
The new DJI Mini 3 Pro can be recommended without reservation. The currently best-equipped mini drone on the market not only impresses with its camera quality. It is also the only drone under 250 grams with obstacle detection/obstacle avoidance and ActiveTrack functionality. "ActiveTrack" means that the drone can automatically follow the subject. This is made possible by sensors on the front, back and bottom.
The highlights of the Mini 3 Pro include a 48-megapixel camera with a 1/1.3-inch sensor and 4K resolution at up to 60 FPS (frames per second). The mini drone can handle Full HD resolution at up to 120 FPS. The gimbal can also be rotated 90 degrees so you can record portrait videos for social media formats. Its battery allows a flight time of 34 minutes. The latest DJI mini drone is optionally available with a new controller. The RC remote control has its own display and makes the drone independent of the smartphone.
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DJI Mini 2: The cheaper predecessor
The DJI Mini 2 weighs less than 250 grams, but films like a big one. Image: © DJI 2022
But the predecessor of the Mini 3 Pro also has a lot to offer! Ready to fly, the DJI Mini 2 weighs exactly 249 grams and is even slightly smaller than the new model. The mini drone's 12-megapixel camera has a 1/2.3-inch sensor and enables 4K recordings at up to 30 frames per second. The Mini 2 films in Full HD at up to 60 FPS. With a maximum of 57.6 km/h in sport mode, it flies just as fast as the Mini 3 Pro and lasts almost as long at 31 minutes.
A big difference: The DJI Mini 2 has no sensors for automatic obstacle detection and avoidance. You are therefore in greater demand as a drone pilot. The Mini 2 is also only available with the RC-N1 controller, which works in conjunction with the smartphone. The big advantage of the Mini 2, however, is that you can get it much cheaper than the new Mini 3 Pro. Ideal for entering the world of drones!
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DJI Mini SE: Strong model for drone beginners
The Mini SE is DJI's most affordable mini drone. Image: © DJI 2022
Entry into the world of drones is even cheaper – even with the market leader DJI. The DJI Mini SE was not released in 2021 as the successor to the DJI Mini 2, but as a cheap new edition of the Mavic Mini in the practical, small housing of the Mini 2. The "SE" in the name stands for "Special Edition". This mini drone also falls under the 250 gram rule, but technically it cannot quite keep up with the two models presented first.
The Mini SE has a camera with a 1/2.3-inch sensor and 12-megapixel resolution. The maximum video resolution is 2.7K at 30 fps, the drone films Full HD at up to 60 fps. There is no real obstacle detection on board, only vision sensors and GPS for precise positioning. The flight time is up to 30 minutes.
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Xiaomi FIMI X8 Mini: alternative to the DJI Mini 2 with advantages
Xiaomi's FIMI X8 Mini films 4K videos and weighs under 250g. Image: © Xiaomi 2022
Even if the market is dominated by DJI, there are other recommended mini drones. The Xiaomi FIMI X8 Mini is most comparable to the DJI Mini 2 in terms of technical data. At a maximum of 57.6 km/h, it flies just as fast and with a flight time of 30 minutes almost as long as the DJI competition. The camera comes with a 1/2.6 inch Sony sensor and delivers 12 megapixel resolution. The mini drone films 4K videos at up to 30 frames per second. The recordings are stabilized by a mechanical 3-axis gimbal.
However, the Xiaomi drone has some advantages compared to the DJI Mini 2: In addition to automatic flight modes, there is also a waypoint mode and tracking functions that always keep the desired subject in focus. A night mode ensures better pictures in the dark.
Autel EVO Nano+: Challenges DJI Mini 3 Pro
The Autel EVO Nano+ also targets the DJI Mini 2 at first glance. The mini drone from the manufacturer Autel Robotics not only promises an extremely powerful camera, but also automatic flight modes including obstacle detection and avoidance. The 1/1.28 inch sensor of the mini drone has a resolution of 50 megapixels. 4K recordings are possible at 30 frames per second, Full HD with up to 60 FPS. The EVO Nano+ even masters HDR videos and RAW photography. The images are stabilized by a mechanical 3-axis gimbal. The flight time is 28 minutes.
Another big advantage of the mini drone from Autel Robotics is obstacle detection. Using sensors at the front, rear and bottom, the model recognizes obstacles and avoids them automatically. Tracking functions are also on board. The Autel EVO Nano+ clearly outperforms the DJI Mini 2 and takes it up directly with DJI's currently best mini drone, the Mini 3 Pro.
Ryze Tello: Fun drone for little money
The Ryze Tello is a real fun drone. Picture:
If you are less looking for excellent image material and more looking for fun with drone flying, you will get a real fun package with the Ryze Tello . The extremely small and light drone was created in cooperation with DJI and teaches you the basics of handling drones. And at a low price.
Thanks to the hovering sensors and simple app control, the mini drone is easy to fly. In addition, the little one even knows tricks and hits e.g. B. Somersaults at the push of a button. The possibility of creating simple flight programs yourself is also exciting; the drone supports the block-based visual programming language Scratch. You shouldn't expect too much from the camera. The 5 megapixel camera is not gimbal stabilized and records a maximum of 720p videos. With a flight time of 13 minutes, the flying fun is also time-limited. However, the Ryze Tello is always used for learning and entertainment.
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